Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Gardening, Book Reviews, YouTube Videos, Blog Hops and More…

by M. J. Joachim

January Gardening

January remains one of my favorite and busiest gardening months of the year here in Arizona. It’s a perfect time to get outside because the weather is warm enough to roll up your sleeves, but not so hot that you’re sweating to death after a few minutes. I’m currently working hard on the back planter I made a few years ago. I planted an evergreen Japanese hedge that I plan to accent with cat’s claw to cover the ugly gray wall and snapdragons to add extra color and fragrance. Snapdragons also happen to be one of my favorite flowers.

Book Reviews

Book reviews have been heavily on my list since early December. I have at least three I hope to publish before February, plus a few that were previously published on a site that no longer exist. I received Gone Girl for Christmas and literally couldn’t put it down, reading all 560 pages in less than two weeks. It’s quite the page turner, though my near future review will share a much more detailed analysis, complete with pros and cons. The other two books are requests from visitors to this blog. The one I started before Christmas is taking quite a bit of time to get through, which unfortunately isn’t faring so well for the author. The other I started last night to get a break from the first. It’s turning out to be a much better read, and might even get reviewed before the one that is taking so long to finish reading.

Making YouTube Videos

I made my very first YouTube video - a slide show I took of a praying mantis hanging out in my backyard for two days. It was so much fun that I made a second YouTube video of Arizona clouds, pictures I’ve been accumulating for more than a year. I had a third YouTube video up, but there was some issue with the music copyright, so I removed it. I plan to change the music and put it up again at some point. It seems all music given on the computer software is not free to use. Only some of it is, and I used the wrong soundtrack. A learning curve is definitely taking place as I enjoy the task of making public videos.

Blog Stats, Glitches and Blog Hops

Sayanara blog hops and blog hopping. I won’t do them anymore. We’re so careful about keeping our computers clean, avoiding glitches and fixing things when they come up, which is why I’m also being careful about giving away my links to any master list that can be edited by one or more powers that be. It makes good sense when you think about it. The only real way to improve blog traffic is to create excellent content that people want to read. Short of that, all the blog hops in the world won’t improve your stats, so why risk having someone edit your links? One of my New Year’s writing resolutions is to blog pure. I owe this to myself and all those who I follow and who follow me. We’ve got a good thing going and for my part, I want to do everything in my power to keep it on the up and up, without added worry from extra-curricular blog events, which might (or might not) take away from what we are ultimately trying to accomplish.

Other than all of the above, I wrote a post on Effectively Human a week or so ago explaining how January is taking me by storm. Regular and consistent blogging will resume soon, I’m thinking February, shortly after Super Bowl in AZ and my big 50 birthday coming up too fast. In the meantime, I’ll keep reading and working on those reviews I’ve got in progress, and you keep being the wonderful blogging friends I’ve come to know and love.

Wishing you only good things, dear blogging friends,

M. J.

©2015 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: Praying mantis, ©2015 All Rights Reserved, M. J. Joachim